Top 5 Quotes from Randi Zuckerberg at Landlord WEBCON
"Consumers today have their own megaphone. Anyone who's online, their voice travels faster and farther than ever before, whether good or bad" - Randi Zuckerberg
Ohh, that dreaded bad review. Most of us feel a sense of panic and our first instinct [or thought] is to get rid of it so no one else can see what was written about us. The only problem is, you can't. Even if you could though, the best approach is to deal with the comment head on.
When you show the world your professionalism and willingness to address the concerns of your customers, you're shining a spotlight on the quality of your business and your customer service. As a result, this customer may now praise you and their experience. Plus, if another follower had a similar concern or question, you've now provided them a solution and alleviated another possible bad review.
A positive customer service experience can go a long way, but a negative one can go even further. An unanswered neglected customer concern may only fuel more bad reviews. Customers become more frustrated when their concerns are not addressed at all and even more so when their concerns aren't resolved in a timely manner. See Marketing Land's survey on customer reviews. Use online reviews to your benefit by assigning staff to monitor reviews and respond quickly. If your support staff has to escalate problems often, that means customer satisfaction is going down-people don't like having to explain a problem to multiple people. It's also extremely important to be friendly, especially when the customer is in a bad mood. Make sure you're easily reachable. Give your customers multiple ways to contact you, phone and email at the very least. Consider adding live chat to your website, with a tool like Olark. Don't be shy, let your customer service shine!
Randi reminds us how important customer service is:
"When people can now see a Google map of every single rental that exists out there, and they can automatically see beautiful photos and videos, it means you can no longer get away with having subpar photos and videos" - Randi Zuckerberg
When thinking of your brand, photos can sometimes get left behind. We work so hard at considering what our logo, colours, website and print materials look like. But we spend little time and effort on photos. We often use old photos with low resolutions and poor angles. We think that having a photo is enough and fail to consider the quality of the photos. People love photos, and they will use them to judge your properties. Some of the most popular social sites are Pinterest and Instagram - sites built around powerful imagery. Did you know tweets with images get 2x the engagement rate than those without?
When considering photography to represent your properties, you'll want to hire a professional photographer, bonus points for finding a real estate photographer. Someone who will provide you with colour corrected, high resolution images. If you prefer to take your own photos, try to take your images at the brightest part of the day to ensure the best lighting, furnished suites are best, and try to use a camera that will give you high resolution images. Stay away from your camera phone, unless you're strictly using those images as a temporary solution. An image can evoke many feelings, you'll want potential leads to imagine themselves living in the apartment you're showing, help them achieve that with beautiful images.
Watch Randi talk about the importance of good photos for your apartment listings:
"You really need to think about your marketing materials because your consumer can now see thousands of apartments at the tips of their fingers" - Randi Zuckerberg
Your company's brand is crucial: you've probably heard it a million times. But branding often gets sidelined for other important business needs or budgets. It goes back to the age-old saying "a first impression is a lasting impression". Imagine your company is applying for a job, and your leads are the employers. Your brand is the suit and tie (or in some cases the ripped jeans) you wore to the interview. When your company represents a consistent quality appearance in all design elements from your website, to your photos, to your building's signage, the quality of your property becomes obvious. Make an immediate positive impression and your property will stand out from the others your prospects are considering.
"You have to make sure your listings are everywhere your customers are looking" - Randi Zuckerberg
With so many listing sites available for customers to search and discover you online, it is very important to ensure you're showing up as much as possible. Yes, it can get exhausting managing your ads on many different listing sites but fortunately new tools are now available to make the process more efficient. With new aggregator tools such as www.rentsync.ca, you can manage all your listing information in one place and easily push the updates to the listing sites you subscribe to. The vast majority of Canadian apartment listings sites are now connected to services like RentSync. Check with your service partners for more information.
Watch Randi talk about ways to ensure your rental listings are everywhere your customers are:
"...A good idea could come from anywhere in the company."
- Randi Zuckerberg
Randi talks about the culture at Facebook, how some of the newest team members came up with some of the best ideas that are even used on Facebook today. We can learn a lot from this entrepreneurial, start-up culture. You don't need to host all-nighter coding events called "hackathons" (as they do at FB) to bring this culture into your business. You need to give your employees a voice, especially new ones, and more importantly, you need to listen and take them seriously. Give your team a chance to be creative. Start by looking closer at your new employees, or rather, team members. They are seeing your business and the buildings they are working in with fresh eyes, ask them for honest feedback and suggestions. Try seeking out property managers or even maintenance staff who work at the building on a regular basis, they may see ways to improve building amenities or provide ideas for customer service in ways upper management hasn't thought of yet. After all, they are in the thick of it, interacting with tenants on a regular basis, you never know where the next great idea can come from!
Watch Randi discuss Facebook's culture: